A Great Scripture to Pray

Posted on September 24, 2021

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By David Ettinger

A Rare Practice
Throughout my 35 years of being a Christian, I have heard the phrase, “pray the Scriptures.” What this simply means is that believers use the actual words of the Bible as a prayer.

Though I sometimes incorporate Scripture into my prayers, I can count on one hand the number of times I have actually taken Bible portions and used them as prayers. That changed last night, and I want to share this particular section of Scripture with you.

While reading through the Psalms before bed, I came upon Psalm 63. What struck me most about this tenderly penned David mini-masterpiece is its earnest yearning for God. It begins, “God, You are my God; I shall be watching for You; My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You.”

As someone who has been facing several challenges lately, this powerful expression of longing hit me in a profound way. I found myself saying, “Yes, Lord; yes, Lord.” As I read through following verses, I found my mind and spirit agreeing with every word.

Verses 9 & 10 speak of David’s concern regarding his enemies, something which does not apply to me, but the first part of the final verse, 11, was for me the perfect ending.

I then read Psalm 63 (without verses 9 &10) again, and changed a couple of words in verse 11 to better suit my circumstances. I read it again, but this time out loud, and as a prayer, to God. This is something I seldom do, but felt led to do so last night, and plan to do more often in the days ahead.

Psalm 63 as Prayer
I don’t want this prayer to turn into an exercise in rote recital, but the words of Psalm 63 so suitably speak to my current experiences. I would like to share “my version” of Psalm 63 (which is only slightly altered) with you.

Here is the NASB version of Psalm 63.

Here is my prayer version of it:

God, You are my God; I shall be watching for You;
My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You,
In a dry and exhausted land where there is no water.
So have I seen You in the sanctuary,
To see Your power and glory.
Because Your favor is better than life,
My lips will praise You.
So I will bless You as long as I live;
I will lift up my hands in Your name.
My soul is satisfied as with fat and fatness,
And my mouth offers praises with joyful lips.
When I remember You on my bed,
I meditate on You in the night watches,
For You have been my help,
And in the shadow of Your wings I sing for joy.
My soul clings to You;
Your right hand takes hold of me.
I will rejoice in God!

Amen, Lord, and thank you for touching my soul and spirit with these wondrous words!